FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight

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Firelight2
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Jtm94 wrote:
The correct answer is just to get both like I plan to. Both are different enough and the FW3A just has a technological mechanical cool factor.
This. Get both!
zak.wilson
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So if you guys are talking to Lumintop about fancy pocket clips, how about talking to them about the Nichia 219C?

Yes, I’m persistent.

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The Miller
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OK, if Fritz is OK with that we can bring it up in the future.

CJ Avlis
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ToyKeeper wrote:
RotorHead64 wrote:
I vote DEEP carry.

Genius! Why stop at deep carry when we can have DEEP carry?

It should be just like this:

MyDangus wrote:
Personally I never use clips on my lights, they just sit at the bottom of my pocket.

So this design would be perfect for you, right? Big Smile

I’d be down for one of we could incorporate spring-loaded pocket “launch” feature on this clip… ala switchblade type mechanism

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You wearing JNCO jeans or something???? 90s are calling… they want their jeans back.

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zak.wilson wrote:
So if you guys are talking to Lumintop about fancy pocket clips, how about talking to them about the Nichia 219C? Yes, I'm persistent.

 

+1

I think the beauty of creating such a small light is in its practicality. Chasing peak lumens while sacrificing a good tint and beam consistency (XPG3 vs 219C) seems to detract from its true potential. Additionally, the thermal management capabilities of this design are severely handicapped. To be honest, and in my opinion, I'd like to see a true high efficiency constant current driver installed, such as the LD4. Once again, given the true strength and uniqueness of this design, I can't see any reason to go beyond 9A. Even with 90CRI 219C's that'd be over 2000 lumens OTF at that current. And you might actually be able to use the Turbo for more than 5 seconds. But I'm just afraid we all worry about spec sheet numbers way too much. In a shelf queen hot rod that's great. But this is a light I have serious hopes for replacing my SC63w as my EDC. Exceptional tint and comparable efficiency are needed for that to happen. I use 40-400 lumen modes about 10x as much as turbo in my EDC's, so performance here is where it counts.

One other thing that has been talked and thought about here is how this light differentiates from another BLF fan favorite, the Emisar D4. I'd like to suggest the merits I mentioned above would help with the overlap between these two wonderful lights. Again being honest, the D4 is better suited to high amps and max lumens when you consider it being a quad and having notably more mass and surface area. 

The Miller
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Yes if Fritz is OK with it we will talk aout it with LT at a later time

kaybi
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+1 for 219c

fritz15
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JaredM wrote:

zak.wilson wrote:
So if you guys are talking to Lumintop about fancy pocket clips, how about talking to them about the Nichia 219C? Yes, I’m persistent.

 

I think the beauty of creating such a small light is in its practicality. Chasing peak lumens while sacrificing a good tint and beam consistency (XPG3 vs 219C) seems to detract from its true potential. Additionally, the thermal management capabilities of this design are severely handicapped. To be honest, and in my opinion, I’d like to see a true high efficiency constant current driver installed, such as the LD4. Once again, given the true strength and uniqueness of this design, I can’t see any reason to go beyond 9A. Even with 90CRI 219C’s that’d be over 2000 lumens OTF at that current. And you might actually be able to use the Turbo for more than 5 seconds. But I’m just afraid we all worry about spec sheet numbers way too much. In a shelf queen hot rod that’s great. But this is a light I have serious hopes for replacing my SC63w as my EDC. Exceptional tint and comparable efficiency are needed for that to happen. I use 40-400 lumen modes about 10x as much as turbo in my EDC’s, so performance here is where it counts.


Yes, we certainly have the Nichia in mind, unfortunately not for this upcoming light. But you act like the beam as well as the tint of an XP-G3 is unacceptable. It’s not. It’s a good beam as well as a good tint. It comes down to deciding on whether you prefer the few more lumens of XP-G3s or the little better beam and tint of the Nichias. It has nothing to do with practicality or big sacrifices but subjective preferences and both choices are valid. For this upcoming light we chose the XP-G3 and far fetched arguments will not change that. So if XP-G3s make the light unusable for you I’m sorry, but I also can’t help it for now. The same applies for (hopefully) a later version, if the Nichias make it for someone unusable I also can’t help it.
Another option is to mod the light, which won’t be very difficult.

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“Very small vs small”

94.8mm (FW3A) vs 93.8mm (D4)

The Miller
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Ah yeah they’re both very small , you are right Wink D4 looks bigger olon the pics, must be the bulge for the switch. Funny, D4 has side switch and larger max OD, FW3A tail switch so a little longer.

prepro
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me 2 please

fritz15
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The Miller wrote:
Ah yeah they’re both very small , you are right Wink D4 looks bigger olon the pics, must be the bulge for the switch. Funny, D4 has side switch and larger max OD, FW3A tail switch so a little longer.

The final model might have a slightly different length. The current CAD model is around 94 mm. But no one will notice a difference of +-1 mm anyway.

zak.wilson
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It’s the diameter that makes the bigger difference here. The FW3A is slimmer than the D4 and doesn’t have any bulges. Even the Astrolux S41, which isn’t as bulgy as the D4 is noticeably more bulky to me in the pocket than otherwise-similar lights with straight tubes.

I’m glad to hear there may be a 219C option in the future. I may be an extremist here, but the longer I’m into lights, the less patience I have for low CRI. It takes a lot of lumens to make a significant visual difference, but even a modest difference in CRI is a stark contrast outdoors. I can solder, so I’ll buy these no matter what emitter they come with, but a lot of people can’t. Also, due to this light’s amazing price point, buying new emitters adds about a third to the cost.

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BrianK
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JaredM wrote:

zak.wilson wrote:
So if you guys are talking to Lumintop about fancy pocket clips, how about talking to them about the Nichia 219C? Yes, I’m persistent.

 


+1


I think the beauty of creating such a small light is in its practicality. Chasing peak lumens while sacrificing a good tint and beam consistency (XPG3 vs 219C) seems to detract from its true potential. Additionally, the thermal management capabilities of this design are severely handicapped. To be honest, and in my opinion, I’d like to see a true high efficiency constant current driver installed, such as the LD4. Once again, given the true strength and uniqueness of this design, I can’t see any reason to go beyond 9A. Even with 90CRI 219C’s that’d be over 2000 lumens OTF at that current. And you might actually be able to use the Turbo for more than 5 seconds. But I’m just afraid we all worry about spec sheet numbers way too much. In a shelf queen hot rod that’s great. But this is a light I have serious hopes for replacing my SC63w as my EDC. Exceptional tint and comparable efficiency are needed for that to happen. I use 40-400 lumen modes about 10x as much as turbo in my EDC’s, so performance here is where it counts.


One other thing that has been talked and thought about here is how this light differentiates from another BLF fan favorite, the Emisar D4. I’d like to suggest the merits I mentioned above would help with the overlap between these two wonderful lights. Again being honest, the D4 is better suited to high amps and max lumens when you consider it being a quad and having notably more mass and surface area. 

Jared, like you I don’t run my lights at max’ lumens all the time either (I suspect very few if any here do), but it’s nice to have the light blast when I want mega light. I guess I don’t understand the concern. If one wants a long runtime and a cooler light we just run it there as you and I already do. It’s like an automobile, my car can go I don’t know how fast because I’ve never driven it that fast, but just because it can go really fast that doesn’t mean I use it at that speed.

Or like alcohol… just because I buy a bottle and have a drink now and then, it doesn’t mean that I drink the entire contents.

I’m trying to understand the complaint, but I simply can’t. I’m not trying to be difficult.

zak.wilson
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I think the complaint is that both direct and linear drivers (the FW3A driver can operate in either mode, depending on output level) are inefficient on anything but max output. A FET always runs the LED at the maximum current the battery can provide, where it’s well under its peak efficiency. A linear driver burns off the difference between the battery’s voltage and the LED’s forward voltage by turning it into heat, which is an obvious waste. With low-forward-voltage LEDs like the XP-G3 and the latest Nichias, there’s a considerable amount of waste when the battery is fully charged.

A switch-mode driver (buck, boost or buck/boost) can be more efficient, as it can provide exactly the desired current for the selected brightness and transform any extra voltage into current, reducing the load on the battery in the case of a buck driver. These also cost a lot more to produce and take up a lot more space. To get the sort of current possible with a FET driver requires especially large and expensive components. The highest output mass-produced 1×18650 lights with switch-mode drivers (Nitecore TM03, Olight H2R) are barely scraping the low-end of the outputs hobbyists have been getting with FET triples for years.

There’s been some of the same discussion with the Emisar D4. To gain the efficiency requested, it would have to be larger and more expensive with a lower peak output. There’s merit to that (a Wizard Pro with Nichia 144A swap is one of my most used lights), but it would be a completely different light than the designers set out to create.

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BrianK
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Thanks. Understood.

The Miller
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Yeah the extra space needed for buck/boost and added cost make it hard to use in our BLF specials
Now that the triple channel gives more stable output lower modes it just is logical to use it in a small light like the FW3A

zak.wilson
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Zebralight manages to get boost drivers into lights this size, but they run at 3A max instead of ~12, have only one emitter and cost $80, not $30. Kaidomain actually did manage to make a cheap boost driver light with pretty high output in a C8 body, but most people don’t find a C8 comfortable to carry in a pocket (and I haven’t seen independent verification of its 2600lm claimed output).

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Fin17
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Interested, 1 for me please!

The Miller
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Yes will update the list later.

What light is that l? C8 with boost driver and 2600 lumens. Sounds interesting.

zak.wilson
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They’re calling it the C8.2. XHP50.2, 3 tint options, 4 modes, bad spacing, bad UI (on-time memory). They should really get help on the firmwares for these things.

http://www.kaidomain.com/p/S026928.KDLITKER-C8_2-Cree-XHP50_2-Neutral-Wh...

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fritz15 wrote:
Yes, we certainly have the Nichia in mind, unfortunately not for this upcoming light. But you act like the beam as well as the tint of an XP-G3 is unacceptable. It's not. It's a good beam as well as a good tint. It comes down to deciding on whether you prefer the few more lumens of XP-G3s or the little better beam and tint of the Nichias. It has nothing to do with practicality or big sacrifices but subjective preferences and both choices are valid. For this upcoming light we chose the XP-G3 and far fetched arguments will not change that. So if XP-G3s make the light unusable for you I'm sorry, but I also can't help it for now. The same applies for (hopefully) a later version, if the Nichias make it for someone unusable I also can't help it. Another option is to mod the light, which won't be very difficult.

 

Hello fritz, 

I don't mean to sound offensive in my viewpoints. I do agree with what you said about the beam pattern and tint being subjective preferences, unique to each individual. With that I stand fast in my position that XPG3s generate a unsatisfactory beam. But to each their own. -- By the way, me sharing my opinion is not a 'far fetched argument.' 

With that out of the way, I'd like to thank everyone involved in the project. Despite me not agreeing 100% with details of the build, I am extremely appreciative of the efforts put forth by the team.  

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The C8.2s H1-A driver is really good for what it is, but what sucks is they don’t use an attiny chip so you have to swap pins around to flash the firmware. Really looking forward to compact boost drivers that can be used in hot rods.

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Jtm94 wrote:
Really looking forward to compact boost drivers that can be used in hot rods.

It’s been said many times by many people that boost drivers just have too many limitations when it comes to high outputs. Pcb traces have to be beefed up significantly and the components just can’t take the high current you have with low voltage. So that day may be many years off if at all.
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zak.wilson wrote:
It’s the diameter that makes the bigger difference here. The FW3A is slimmer than the D4 and doesn’t have any bulges. Even the Astrolux S41, which isn’t as bulgy as the D4 is noticeably more bulky to me in the pocket than otherwise-similar lights with straight tubes.

I’m glad to hear there may be a 219C option in the future. I may be an extremist here, but the longer I’m into lights, the less patience I have for low CRI. It takes a lot of lumens to make a significant visual difference, but even a modest difference in CRI is a stark contrast outdoors. I can solder, so I’ll buy these no matter what emitter they come with, but a lot of people can’t. Also, due to this light’s amazing price point, buying new emitters adds about a third to the cost.

I think the FW3A is probably a more practical light than the D4. It has a clip, it has more 7135 chips for steady med/high modes, the beam should be rounder/smoother, and the maximum output might be a bit less intense.

I’m not sure the tail switch will be any better or worse — just different. It encourages a reverse grip instead of a forward grip.

Looking at djozz’s XP-G3 measurements, overall output might be pretty close to the D4, despite having 3 emitters instead of 4. It seems that XP-G3 puts out more lumens per amp than 219c, at similar Vf. It’s almost as bright as XP-L HI, but has lower Vf so it can run at higher amps. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the FW3A can hit 4000 lumens. This assumes all other components are as good as the D4 though, which might be difficult.

My main concern is that I haven’t really heard anything good about the XP-G3’s tint consistency. However, it might still be totally fine with a frosted optic like the 10511. I’d recommend this over the 10507 for almost any light, but particularly for one with LEDs which emit different tints at different angles.

If possible, it’d probably be a good idea to offer it in a range of NW tints from 4000K to 5000K, with high CRI for some options. That would cover the majority of people’s preferences. I’m still rather fond of high-CRI 4500K.

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Cawi posted a beamshoot of a proto here
http://www.taschenlampen-forum.de/threads/fw3a-tlf-sonderedition-in-klei...

ups, without log In you can’t see it, this is the pic from Zak:

not the exact XP-G3

looks not bad

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Toykeeper wrote:
I’m not sure the tail switch will be any better or worse — just different. It encourages a reverse grip instead of a forward grip.

I hope the FW3A doesn’t fire up in my pocket as easy as a lamp with side switch.

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joechina wrote:
Toykeeper wrote:
I’m not sure the tail switch will be any better or worse — just different. It encourages a reverse grip instead of a forward grip.

I hope the FW3A doesn’t fire up in my pocket as easy as a lamp with side switch.

No chance it’ll activate as easily as a side switch

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Lock out via software or a slight unscrew and no accidental turn on possible.

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